Posted in theology

Tough times call for soft encouragement

By Elizabeth Prata

PODCAST LINK HERE

DISCERNMENT: Have you polished, adjusted, and thanked God today for your spiritual armor? We should be armed and ready, from head to toe, and praising the Lord for His generosity in protecting us from the demons and from the evil one himself! If we are on guard, rooted in His word, and seeking His face, we can always spot the real from the imitation, the Godly miracle from the demonic copy, the truth from a lying sign. It is a skill that needs honing, and we will need it more than ever as each day from now on progresses. Be ready and sharpen that sword: read your Bible today!

HOW, THEN, SHALL WE BE? Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, (2 Peter 3:11). When He comes, how will Jesus find each one of us? Arguing with a spouse? Or serving with humility? Without self-control? Or sober and watchful? In His glorious wisdom He gave us opportunity to obey Him. Let us be faithful and diligent in His service, till the end! 

BAD TIMES ARE GOOD TIMES: Oh what an exciting time we live in! Are you looking up, looking forward, and looking out? Share Him, expect Him, and love each other till the moment the trumpet sounds… He said He will come, He said to look up when we see these things come to pass, and He is coming soon. Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11). Now is the time to urge those who do not believe to seek truth. Truth resides in Jesus and in Him alone. And aren’t we who know Him blessed with the most wonderful relationship of which we can possibly conceive? Even if we do not have opportunity to witness every day, let us reflect Him in our demeanor and smile. We are rejoicing always!

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

SPEEDING UP! Do you feel things are going faster and faster? The news that is coming at us is ever more forceful in its depravity? I do! I feel like a gal stuck in a snowball that is gathering speed as it rolls down the hill. The times are picking up steam. Are you using one eye for looking out (for your fellow man) and the other eye for looking up (for our redemption draweth nigh)?

KINDNESS IS THE WATCHWORD: The times are getting harder now for all of us, financially, emotionally, physically. Let us remember to share our faith with unbelievers but also encourage each other. Now is the time to let grudges go, to refrain from being annoyed by small things. Put personal differences aside and “build each other up” as we face increasing iniquity that disheartens and depresses, as the news indeed often does. (Be Salt & Light, Matthew 5:13-16)

Jesus said we do not need to worry. Matthew 6:25: “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

It has been The End Time since Jesus ascended and will end when He returns. We are in the last days. The Lord may tarry longer but it feels to me and many others that the end of the end days may be upon us. Whether or not they are, let us watch and marvel at His word, feel joy in His promises, even as we see the needs of others rise in confusion and fear…because that represents a tremendous opportunity to share Jesus with them! It is hard but it’s also exciting for us to actually see many of God’s works unfold in these days.

Whatever it is or whatever you’re going through, God’s got this! It is not a surprise to Him, it is ordained for His glory and our good. Cling to that and the knowledge that if you are in Him, He is your all in all, Alpha and Omega, perfect Savior who loves His children dearly.

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Posted in poetry, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: At The Rapture

Kay Cude poetry. Right-Click to see larger in new tab. Used with permission.

Artist’s Statement:

I was deeply drawn to this painting because of the look on the face of the child clutched out of death into the arms of his beloved mother. I see peace mixed in with awe as he looks into the face of one who has nurtured him since birth; the face of the one he is so grateful to see. I am reminded of the nurturing love of the Father and Son for Their beloved redeemed; perhaps we will have that same look upon our faces as we look into the glorious and wonderful face of Christ Jesus at the Rapture.

Posted in theology

Now is not the time for thin skin

By Elizabeth Prata

PODCAST/AUDIO HERE

Does it seem to you that people are becoming more thin-skinned? I seems that way to me.

Should believers worry? Of course not! All things are possible in Jesus, for does not Romans 12:21 say “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Our ‘skin’ should be as thick as possible, for we have on the inside the Holy Spirit and on the outside the full armor of God. Share Him with as many as possible, so they also can know the peace of the Heavenly Spirit.

Continue reading “Now is not the time for thin skin”
Posted in theology

The sunny side of life is warmer

By Elizabeth Prata

I used to spend the Fourth of July in Lubec-Eastport Maine. If you visualize Maine as the profile of a dog, Eastport and Lubec would be the nostrils. These two towns are as far east as you can go in Maine and not be in Canada. The highest tides in the world begin there, with the Bay of Fundy funneling the Atlantic into a small inlet where massive 30′ tides are pushed up then down several times a day. Lubec and Eastport are nautical cities, driven by the sea, which surrounds both of them. And as for the air, there’s cool, fog, and cold. Those are the seasons. (Notice the shadow side on the left and the sunny side on the right. The difference in temps would be at least ten degrees)

Continue reading “The sunny side of life is warmer”
Posted in theology

A wonderful end to my week: The Lord sustains us in little ways too

By Elizabeth Prata

flowers and velvet pillow cover, how great these surprises are!

It was a tough week in my little sphere. A lot of people are struggling, we’re all stretched thin. Prices are rising fast and I juggle and jiggle and juggle the budget again and again to adjust. I arrive home hot and tired. I’m waiting for the brutal Georgia August to slide into September cooler fall weather.

Continue reading “A wonderful end to my week: The Lord sustains us in little ways too”
Posted in theology

Gospel-Prophecy Week #4: Has America been destroyed by moth and worm? Are we ‘ripened for ruin’?

By Elizabeth Prata

The verse in Hosea is a promise from the Lord to Israel, also called Ephraim and Judah (northern and southern kingdom)

Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, for he is determined to follow worthless idols. Therefore I am like a moth to Ephraim, And like rottenness to the house of Judah. (Hosea 5:11-12)

If God would crush his elect, blessed, and beloved nation, would He do less to America when we do the same as Israel- reject Him and rebelliously pursue idols and revel in widespread sin?

Matthew Henry’s Compete Commentary on the Bible explains just what is happening in the Hosea verse:

Note, An easy compliance with the commandments of men that thwart the commandments of God ripens a people for ruin as much as any thing. And the punishment of the sequacious disobedience (lacking independence or originality of thought) answers to the sin; for it is for this that Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, has all his civil rights and liberties broken in upon and trodden down; 
He would begin with less judgments, which should sometimes work silently and insensibly (v. 12): I will be (that is, my providences shall be) unto Ephraim as a moth; for it is such a sickness as Ephraim now sees, v. 13.
Note, The judgments of God are sometimes to a sinful people as a moth, and as rottenness, or as a worm. The former signifies the little animals that breed in clothes, the latter those that breed in wood; as these consume the clothes and the wood, so shall the judgments of God consume them.

(1.) Silently, so as not to make any noise in the world, so as they themselves shall not be sensible of it. They shall think themselves safe and thriving, but when they come to look more narrowly into their state, shall find themselves wasting and decaying.

(2.) Slowly, and with long delays and intervals, that he may give them space to repent. Many a nation, as well as many a person in the prime of its time, dies of a consumption.

(3.) Gradually, God comes upon sinners with less judgments, so to prevent greater, if they will be wise and take warning; he comes upon them step by step, to show he is not willing that they should perish. 

(4.) The moth breeds in the clothes, and the worm or rottenness in the wood; thus sinners are consumed by a fire of their own kindling.

End Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (pp. 1474–1475).


It seems as though there has been a fast disintegration in some western nations. Australia and Canada are filled with draconian measures against a 99.7% survivable flu, ravaging its people to a frustrating degree. The people are crying out against the tyrants but the worm and moth have done their work. The tyrants are standing firm on their tyranny.

In the United States there are still some bright spots, but many low spots. The darkness in the US seems to be spreading and the nation’s vaunted civil liberties and staunch foundation of freedom and law & order seem to be eking away day by day. This has also been the worm and the moth. God has wrought His work in judgment, silently, steadily, until when exposed to the light, the garment is shredded with moth holes and will not stand.

When we read of judgment in the Bible, we focus on ‘big’ obvious judgments; the invading armies, the Babylonian captivity, the brimstone falling on Sodom and Gomorrah, or the Tribulation judgments- all of which are obvious signs of God’s displeasure.

But there are silent judgments too. The worm and the moth judgments are silent. Another silent judgment is the wrath of abandonment, as I wrote yesterday and is explained in Romans 1:18-32. When “God gave them over” to their sin. He lets go His divine restraint on whole societies and allows a people to pursue headlong into deeper sin as they had desired.

It’s obvious the United States is under judgment. Things will get worse, not better. Sin always gets worse, and without the Lord’s restraining hand upon it, a society will devolve into “all manner of wickedness” as Romans 1:29 shows.

Australia is building at Wellcamp “a regional quarantine facility” in order to “keep the Delta variant out of Queensland”. Can you keep a germ out of a land 2 and a half times bigger than Texas? No. Where there are people there are germs, viruses, and sickness. It’s insane to try and obstruct a virus, but tyrants are trying to do it anyway.

A CAMP.

It is reported that any US military personnel objecting to taking the mandated sh.ot will need to be “re-educated” via “counseling“.

BRAINWASHING.

Camps, brainwashing, pressure, shrinking civil liberties, darkness. Could the news get any worse? Yes, and it will. Sin makes it so and the Bible shows it so.

But we have GOOD NEWS. Here is where the Gospel comes in. Will we be cheerful only when we are prosperous? Will we shine the light of Jesus only when we are free? Will we be joyful only when we enjoy life the way we want it? Will we concentrate on Jesus only when it is easy and not when it is hard?

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy made a speech at Rice University about why he set a goal of putting a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth before the decade was out. Here is a 2 minute clip of that speech,

If JFK urged Americans to do the hard things because we are willing to accept challenges, because we are unwilling to postpone, because the hard things are the best measure of our energies and skills, then what are we to be like as Christians?

We have ALL energy- in the Holy Spirit who never tires and never wanes. We can surmount hard challenges because we have Christ who gives us the strength to do all things. The best measure of our salvation is our perseverance, the best hope is our future home, the best truth is that we are eternally loved.

I know it’s a tall order, having to adjust to the new normal quickly. Our hearts and minds may be slow to catch up to what our eyes see and read.

One way I like to maintain perspective besides bathing in the Bible, is to read of others in the faith who had it worse than I do. And there is always someone who had it worse, no matter how bad things are where you are now. Betsy ten Boom found joy and gratitude for the fleas in her Nazi barracks (because the plethora of fleas plaguing the internees kept the guards away- so she could share the Bible more freely with her bunkmates). Am I dipped in tar and lofted above a garden and put alight for a tyrant’s illumination as the 1st century Christians were in Nero’s garden? Am I tortured for Christ? Am I jailed, or being martyred? No. And when it’s not, I can tap into Christ through prayer and His word and remember His promises.

Everything we do is FOR HIS GLORY.

Focus on the joy in meeting with the saints, if you are doing that. Focus on the fact that in the US we still have access to Bibles and can share the Gospel with anyone.

JFK said:

John F. Kennedy

But believers say: Christ already did the hard thing. He did it all. He did it for us. The only thing we must do is be faithful, persevere, give Him glory, and be patient for our moment to be called home.

Posted in theology

Jesus is…

By Elizabeth Prata

Jesus is greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:3)

Jesus is greater than the temple (Matthew 12:6)

Jesus is greater than Jonah Matthew 12:41,42

Jesus is greater than Solomon (Matthew 12:42)

Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man

1Then Job answered, 2“In truth I know that this is so; But how can a man be in the right before God? 3“If one wished to dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times. 4“Wise in heart and mighty in strength, Who has defied Him without harm? 5“It is God who removes the mountains, they know not how, When He overturns them in His anger; 6Who shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble;

7Who commands the sun not to shine, And sets a seal upon the stars; 8Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea; 9Who makes the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades, And the chambers of the south; 10Who does great things, unfathomable, And wondrous works without number. 11“Were He to pass by me, I would not see Him; Were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him. 12“Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him? Who could say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’

13“God will not turn back His anger; Beneath Him crouch the helpers of Rahab. 14“How then can I answer Him, And choose my words before Him? 15“For though I were right, I could not answer; I would have to implore the mercy of my judge. 16“If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice. 17“For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause.

29“I am accounted wicked, Why then should I toil in vain? 30“If I should wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye, 31Yet You would plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes would abhor me. 32“For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him, That we may go to court together. 33“There is no umpire between us, Who may lay his hand upon us both.

34“Let Him remove His rod from me, And let not dread of Him terrify me. 35“Then I would speak and not fear Him; But I am not like that in myself.

Job keenly felt the gap between himself as sinner and God as holy. He knew there was an insurmountable chasm between him and the Holy One in heaven. How to overcome this? Job could see no way. He pleaded for an umpire to be the bridge between man and God.

Jesus is that umpire. He is our advocate before God and defender against satan. The cross is His bridge that lays one hand on our shoulder and the other on God’s. Take a moment today to reflect on Christ’s work on earth and in heaven. Think of His unfathomable love for us, He who lived on earth with sinners, died an excruciating death, and ascended in flesh to live in heaven as man-God forever. When Job passed into glory, he finally met his umpire, the Christ. We will too. What a day that will be.

Posted in theology

James Coates addresses TMS grads: “I can’t think of a better time to be stepping into pulpits”

By Elizabeth Prata

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The Master’s Seminary had its annual graduation ceremony this past weekend. TMS is a premier seminary in the United States, where Dr. John MacArthur was its President from 1985 to 2019, and now is the seminary’s Chancellor. The goal since the Seminary’s founding was and is to produce men of the Word, men of courage and conviction to preach that word – in season and out of season.

Increasingly, we are learning that this season is an ‘out of season’ time for the people of God. The darkness is encroaching, and not stealthily, either, but boldly and wantonly. Bible, God, Jesus, slaying sin, repentance, grace, forgiveness, anything gentle, is anathema to the world. It is a world where the promises in Romans 1 are evidently seen, a world where…

“…they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper, people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32).

A world where despite the assurances written in a Constitution or Charter, religion is suppressed and pastors are arrested. Where under cover of the pandemic, tyrants use the health guidelines to marginalize the people of God out of the public square and we become enemy #1 if we dare gather.

What does one say to a group of men who entered seminary 4 or 5 years ago and starry eyed, pressed on with studies hoping to make a difference for the kingdom of God? Who now see lions at the gate, enemies calling themselves Christians, and demons coming to the fore?

You get graduate James Coates to share some encouragement. Dr Coates is a TMS grad from ten years ago and has been serving as pastor ever since. He has been at ground zero on the battlefield of truth these last 6 months, as Edmonton, Alberta Canada has tried to put a stranglehold around him and his people and shut them down. Health rules you know, even though the v.irus is dying out and deaths are minimal. Refusing to still his tongue and strongly committed to proclaiming holy truths to a sinful society, Coates was arrested and jailed. He spent time in a maximum security jail, and was recently released but only for his trial.

This past weekend another pastor was arrested, Artur Pawlowski of Calgary, also in Alberta. He had refused the same restrictions as Coates, enforcing mask wearing and reduced building capacity limits. His confrontation with police who’d entered his Easter Sunday Service went viral. The police tried several other times to enter, harass, and restrict Pawlowski’s services, even though religious services are protected under Canadian Charter. So this weekend they just simply arrested him like a dog on the road, instead.

Copyright Artur PawlowskiTV/Youtube

What do you do where it’s a Braveheart scene…where the enemy is picking up speed and gaining like-minded cohorts, trampling onto sacred ground? A pastor’s job is to hold the ground. We pierce them not with weapons but with the Word of God. We stare steely-eyed into the whites of their eyes, proclaiming the truths of God until our throat is raw or our tongue is stilled in death. We stand our ground.

Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:14-17).

In other words, Pastors, stand your ground!

Here is the link to Pastor Coates’ The Master’s Seminary graduation address. It is encouraging! Please click on the link to listen. Below is an extended quote from the video, which is about 6 minutes long. LINK HERE

"The reality is that there were many moments in preparation for that time when I'd have to choose imprisonment to obey Jesus Christ. Those moments along the way required conviction, resolve, and a steadfast desire and commitment to do what the Lord would require of me. Every moment counts. Every moment along the way was a moment of preparation, so by the time I got to the point where I'd have to choose whether I was going to keep my comforts or stay in obedience to Christ, it was already settled. It wasn't easy, it was difficult, it came in the face of fear and trembling. But the Lord at each point assisted me with a conviction to know what it was He was calling me to do as well as the grace to carry it out. ... You need to resolve in your heart to obey Christ no matter what the cost...and to be faithful all the way to the end."
"We need men of conviction, we need men who are going to stand firmly upon the scriptures. We need men who are resolved to obey Christ- no matter the cost, and the cost in increasing, you know that. ... It's a more hostile world than the world I stepped into ten years ago."
"Even as I call you in this moment to be men of courage and resolve with kindness it's going to have to be with graciousness and patience. The call to be faithful and committed and obedient is not a call to be cantankerous. It is a call to be like Christ, bearing the fruit of the Spirit in your obedience." 
"I can't think of a better time to be stepping into pulpits in the US and all over the world, and a better time to exposit the scriptures with clarity, accuracy, and conviction. I'm excited for you. "
"Glorify God, give your life for Christ. Preach the word with boldness and conviction. Let the word of Christ govern your life."  ---end excerpt James Coates video.

Lades, if your husband is in any way ministering as elder, pastor, teacher, church planter, missionary, in any way, it is our call to be supportive, gracious, forgiving, and steady. He is on that battlefield staring at hostiles much of the time. The future is uncertain, especially for Christian ministers in Canada and of course elsewhere. He needs a safe space at home. He needs a refuge. He needs to know that one person will always be on his side. It’s our duty and privilege as help-meet. It’s always nice to come home to a neat house, warm dinner, and loving wife, but especially now when the battle ‘out there’ is rising. Nurture him, listen to him, go the extra mile for him.

Even more important, we women also need the word of God so that we can also stand strong on the day we might meet a fork in the road and called to count a cost. Erin Coates did when police chained her husband and carted him off. Marzena Pawlowski did when they handcuffed her husband Artur Pawlowski and carted him off. Wives, be ready. Only the word of God can ready us for that moment. As James Coates said in his video, resolve in your heart, nurture your convictions, and stand. Let the Lord prepare you and stare strongly into the future, which is bright with opportunity to proclaim Light to a darkening world.

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Posted in theology

Despite evil days, the word spreads

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s evil days. The Bible tells us that. And we only need look at both secular and Christian news sites to see it playing out in living color before our eyes. It’s enough to get a person down. We get concerned with the length of time it’s taking Jesus to return, with the church being increasingly persecuted, with pastors being arrested, or worries about getting the Word of God to the lost as countries either close due to Covid or from hatred of the Gospel.

Here are two encouragements for you. This set of verses from God’s word are but a few of the verses that tell us that no matter that satan’s efforts to try and thwart, interrupt, or block God’s plan, none of it will work. Satan tried six ways to Sunday in the Acts era of the first century church to get the word stopped, and it never worked for one second. We know what happened, the word went out MORE.

Acts 6:7 So the word of God continued to spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem grew rapidly, and a great number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts 19:20 So the word of the Lord powerfully continued to spread and prevail

Acts 12:24 But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.

Secondly, if you’re impacted too emotionally from the day’s news, then here is some good advice from Dan Crabtree at The Cripplegate with an article titled What to do with evil news. Here’s just a snippet-

Church history records more dark years than halcyon days. Persecution, slander, and mistreatment has always been par for the Christian course. Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble…” (John 16:33), and he meant it. Heads are still on the menu. ... 
Brothers and sisters, we are surrounded with bad news about the evil that permeates this world. Given the dominance of Satan’s handiwork in the headlines, it would be so easy to despair. To get angry. To embitter. To whip someone online with a fresh one-liner because you’ve just had enough. But King David has a better way for us.

Take heart, if you are in the Lord, you are IN the Lord! 1 John 4:4 says, You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.